The Powered by Age Podcast is sponsored by the Government of Canada  New Horizons Grant, the 411 Seniors Centre Society and G&F Financial Group


The Powered by Age podcast exemplifies a dream envisioned by Leslie Remund, Director of the 411 Senior Center Society in her quest to expand seniors’ access to technology and build their skill and confidence in using different technological tools. Her enthusiasm attracted Joel Flynn and Luke Schuss; owners of a recording studio located in the same building as the 411 Center. They pondered the possibilities of starting a senior-led podcast with Nicola Enright, a creative arts instructor who initiated a 5-week podcast workshop where teams of students recorded original stories, poems and discussions. This led to “Season 1” of four podcast episodes being posted to popular podcast sites. It also assisted the 411 Senior Center Society in receiving a grant from the City of Vancouver that enabled the launch of the “Season 2” program reflected in this website. Charlotte Sista C Ferrell and Mayumi Spry, segment producers from the initial program, implemented “Season 2” by conducting engaging recruiting presentations at other senior centers and community events.  At each site people were asked about their current perception of seniors in Vancouver and whether- or how- they would like to help change negative perceptions into positive “Age Friendly” ones. 


The Powered by Age: Age-Friendly City podcast creation program launched in January 2020 with weekly, onsite meetings at the 411 Center through February, where recruits from the various locations began getting to know each other and identifying topics they’d like the podcasts to cover. Charlotte coined the term Age Friendly Ambassadors and started orienting people for their roles as creative writers, roving reporters, interviewers, and peer leaders. Luke and Joel began orienting people to recording in their studio and Robin Ericksen began mentoring the group on storytelling concepts.  And then the Covid-19 “shut down” abruptly halted everything. 


By March 2020, it was evident that loneliness and isolation were increasingly becoming major emotional health problem for seniors. Intrigued by the growing popularity of “Zoom” meetings, Charlotte elicited help from filmmaker, Adhel Arop and they started testing Zoom podcast creation meetings with program recruits who had given permission to be contacted by email. Following positive responses, the 411 Center Director authorized resumption of the program with Charlotte Ferrell as coordinator/podcast host, and a production team of Robin Eriksson and Adhel Arop as mentor/facilitators: Luke Schuss and Jesse Wentzloff as tech coaches and website developers. As 2020 edged toward its challenging end, nearly 40, one-hour, PBA podcasts have been posted to all major podcast platforms, including You Tube and the PBA website. Sixteen people have been awarded certificates as “Peer Ambassadors of the Powered by Age: Age-Friendly City Podcast Program.”  Now, visions of PBA Season 3 are wafting in all our dreams.





Charlotte Sista C Ferrell

I am the Host/Coordinator for the Powered by Age: Age-Friendly podcast creation program at the 411 Senior Center Society. I also host the Speak Up, Listen Up, Act Upon radio show at CJSF 90.1FM, where we air at least one PBA podcast monthly.  I especially enjoy eliciting senior’s visions of an age-friendly city and engaging them in conversations or strategies to accomplish this. I am an author, retired college professor and healthcare practitioner. The 411 Center was the first place to welcome me as a member and volunteer poetry instructor when I moved to Vancouver. Being involved with the Center and podcast program has created abundant new friendships, wonderful conversations, teaching opportunities and mutual technology explorations. Want to get involved with the podcasts? Email pbaafc@gmail.com. Reach me @csistacf on Twitter or Instagram. Linkedin:  https://linkedin.com/in/csistacf.  My books, From Pillows to Pillars and Heartbalm Just for You are at C-Ferrell/e/B074GBXNB2/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Robin Eriksson

 I am a long-time community radio-maker, and the Program Coordinator at CJSF 90.1 FM. I have been checking in with and inviting participants to the podcast as well as mentoring their participation and oral presentation skills. I have helped research and facilitate some of the podcast discussions and served as host periodically. I love the stories we ‘have to’ tell, and the older we get, chances are the more stories we will have to tell from the experiences of our lives. Bringing senior voices to the public through this podcast has been rewarding to me because older adults are a growing segment of the population not given voice in mainstream audio, and providing this platform amplifies and legitimizes senior voices, interests and issues reflecting its relevance in the broader social context. People can connect with me at Aging with Imagination on Facebook and listen to my radio show Triple Threat: Feminist, Fifty-ish & Fabulous. 

Jesse Wentzloff

I’m Jesse Wentzloff, the Public Affairs and Talk Coordinator at CJSF 90.1FM, the campus community radio station at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. I co-produce and edit the PBA Podcast and Listening Sessions. Being involved with the Powered by Age-Age Friendly City project makes me feel more engaged with a broader section of my community, one that I would previously rarely have engaged with. It has increased my appreciation for the work and contributions of older people, and my understanding of what it means for a city to be inclusive and accessible for all. To connect with me about talk radio: cjsfpa@sfu.ca; or other radio fun: @VanMixtape on Twitter & InstagramVancouver Mixtape on Facebook.

Adhel Arop 

I am a Kenyan-born, Canadian Refugee, who has become an independent filmmaker, activist,  poet, writer and former international model. I enjoy creating opportunities for intergenerational communication, such as those I have experienced as a mentor/facilitator with the Powered by Age podcast program.. I have made new friendships and increased my appreciation for seniors’ authenticity and passion for life while working with some participants on their ideas for creating their own programs or videos, or playing poetry “tag” to reassure their memory skills. My film, Who Am I, explores the  intersections between family, regional and racial trauma and applying unique, organic solutions You can reach me at https://www.adhelproductions.com

Meet the Powered by Age SPIN-Stars


Sylvie Anderson

I’m Sylvie Anderson.  My parents baptized me Sylvia but I adopted the French version “Sylvie” (given me by a French pen pal) when I was at school because I thought it sounded much trendier.  I also answer to Sylv or Syl.  I’m an ex real estate paralegal, ex entrepreneur, ex ESL teacher, wannabe writer, novice gardener and birdwatcher, virtual student and proud member of the West End Seniors Network. My lifelong love of words (written, spoken and invented) has launched me into a variety of orbits, all enhanced by a belief in reciprocity.


Lesley Hebert

I teach English as a second language online and write flash fiction, poetry and travel articles. I am currently writing a travelogue about Japan. I enjoy touching others with my work and learning what = issues other seniors are involved in. Please visit and “like” my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Lesleyskypeenglish-101004281579332 or read some of my travel articles at http://travelthruhistory.com


Neall Ryon

Apart from being a perennial student of life, my work history includes a variety of careers as a business consultant, a business owner, a teacher, a wanderer, a poet and for about a year, the co-host of a radio show on CFRO; World Poetry Café. One of my poems; “Easter Parade” was selected to be included among the 150 poems celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday in the book, Multicultural Creative Writing Collection. My newly revised book of poetry and short stories,  From The Other Side is available on Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other online book sources. Being involved in the PBA podcast program has inspired me to write and share poems for selected topics or to provide presentation that draw upon my certifications in meditation and Emotional Freedom Technique.


Judith Rainey

I am a classic literature fan and poet who is a member of the 411 Seniors Centre Society. I enjoy watching and sharing articles and videos for PBA discussions on complementary health therapies, wellness, and social issues. Being involved in the podcast program has inspired me to explore using other platforms, learn techniques such as screen-sharing, and increase my confidence in doing recordings or special presentations.

Chris Morrissey OC.

I’m a 77 year old white lesbian and immigrant to Canada, I participate in Quirk-e – the Queer Imaging and Riting for Elders and participate at Britannia Seniors Centre. Quirk-e has published several anthologies a number of my stories are published there. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to share my writing and opinions with others through the podcast of Powered by Age. Our Quirk-e anthologies are available online thru Lulu press


Pat Hogan

I am a semi-retired concert/events producer. I feel fortunate that as seniors we have outlets for discussing issues and exchanging ideas, such as the Powered by Age podcast for creativity. I enjoy writing and encouraging others to do so. Most of what I have written is included in Quirk-e, the queer imaging & “riting kollective” for elders. To date we have produced seven anthologies.


Gail Harwood

I am Gail Harwood, a proud member of the 411 Senior Center Society and East ‘End’ activist for housing and human rights issues. I am a semi-retired teacher, professional tutor and writer. Being able to share my work with seniors and others who share the goal of creating an age-friendly city makes me feel vibrant, sharp and engaged with life. Taking part in the podcast has inspired me to learn how to do remote interviews and share my thoughts on many issues. You can reach me at or gharwood@shaw.ca, Gail Harwood on Facebook

Don Orr Martin

My name is Don Orr Martin. I retired in 2014 and moved to Vancouver after a 25-year career in public health education. Before that I was a graphic designer, journalist, and for many years an actor, playwright and director. Another big part of my life has been fighting for LGBTQ rights. I’ve been an ardent feminist and civil rights activist since the late 1960s. I ‘m a member of the Queer Imaging and Riting Kollective for Elders (Quirk-e) — a group of aging artists and activists that  has published eight anthologies. I co-edited the latest one, Together We Stand, Queer Elders Speak Out. To stay healthy and active I believe it is important to have a creative outlet like writing, performing and podcasting. I love hearing the stories of older people’s lives and sharing mine too.

Herb Bryce

I am Herb Bryce, author of “Chasing a Butterfly: A journey in poems of love and loss to acceptance. “The poems of Alzheimer’s”, poems for everybody. I enjoyed being a Judge at Rabindranath Tagore International, English Poetry Competition 2017. Sharing my poetry with others via podcasts gives me an opportunity to hear and watch people’s reception to my work in a different way. Reach me at Blogger at hwbrycewrites.com

As  settlers, we gratefully  and respectfully acknowledge that we live and work  on the traditional and unceded land of the Coast Salish peoples, including the shared traditional territories of the Swx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), Tsleil-Waututh, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.